External exemplars Level 3 2020 – Photography

Show: External Exemplars

The resource below contains examples of candidate work submitted in 2020 for assessment for the Visual Arts Achievement Standard 91457 Produce a systematic body of work that integrates conventions and regenerates ideas within photography practice. The purpose of this resource is to help art teachers prepare their teaching programmes and their students for assessment.


Panel 1 (JPG, 724KB) Panel 2 (JPG, 32KB) Panel 3 (JPG, 532KB)
Entire portfolio (JPG, 1.7MB)
Click links to see larger images

The drawing on Panel 1 clearly defines the proposition undertaken and ideas are generated in depth from the onset through a range of objects, performances, and costume. There is a comprehensive engagement of study and ownership in the selection of pictorial devices: Panel 1 introduces Pasifika objects and formal studio portraiture, while Panels 2 and 3 document the interaction of figures with dance performances. There is a clear play on static movement within the compositional space and conventions of still photography.

Decision-making has been demonstrated through the selection and sequencing of images. Purposeful studies of hand movements have been showcased in a critical manner that generates understanding of the cultural practice being communicated and celebrated.

There is a clear fluency in the photographic methods used, with the candidate exploring a full range of processes, including time lapse, movement, and studio space, with a high level of competency. Formal pictorial devices, such as composition, framing, viewpoint, colour, and multiple exposures, are used with confidence and support the regeneration of ideas on Panel 3.

Each phase of work is critical to the overall execution of the submission. Through the appropriate selection of artistic references, the candidate has been able to demonstrate a depth and range of picture-making devices to explore their concept. A genuine connection between subject and photographer has been suggested through the photographs taken. The candidate has generated a depth of ideas from the onset, making new contemporary Pasifika works using cultural fabric, patterns, and colour.


Panel 1 (JPG, 612KB) Panel 2 (JPG, 646KB) Panel 3 (JPG, 666KB)
Entire portfolio (JPG, 1.7MB)
Click links to see larger images

The photographs in this submission have been purposefully generated and imagery has been selected to create a portfolio that begins with a formal still-life approach to communicate the richness of Pasifika culture. Clear and considered shifts in sequencing photographs have been explored to clarify ideas.

A systematic approach offers the development of ideas with strong use of pictorial devices. A dedicated investigation of selected Pasifika objects is evident on Panel 1, while Panels 2 and 3 expand a relationship into performance through a synthesis of light, figure, and patterning.

The candidate demonstrates proficiency with the processes and procedures used. A selective colour palette has been generated from the subject matter to form an aesthetic. Purposeful use of pictorial devices drives the phases of working with a strong sense of viewpoint, depth of field, close-up details, and juxtapositions of structure and figures. Lighting across multiple spaces is handled with control.

Established practice is sensitively and purposefully integrated into the work, with Panel 2 extending ideas. The patterns of light within the night sky echo the patterns on the clothing and adornment within a cultural context. While this submission is positioned in the upper end of Merit, to have achieved with Excellence, Panel 1 could have investigated a wider range of imagery, while passages of work on Panel 3 required greater critical decisions to allow for more variety in image-making.


Panel 1 (JPG, 644KB) Panel 2 (JPG, 449KB) Panel 3 (JPG, 549KB)
Entire portfolio (JPG, 1.6MB)
Click links to see larger images

The candidate has sustained an investigation in the genre of still and figurative subject matter within a cultural context. Camera handling is adequately demonstrated and sequencing is used to record passages of static movement. The readily available subject matter enables the candidate to explore the synthesis of still-life objects and figure, with Panel 1 consisting of formal studies, through to the duality of figure becoming patterned with floral designs and figure having a two-dimensional appearance.

A directional light source has been used with understanding, while digital conventions such as silhouettes are used to generate the candidate’s ideas on Panel 3. An understanding of compositional devices is explored through the evidence of varying viewpoints, framing, close-ups, and sequencing. Close-ups have enabled texture and pattern to be regenerated on Panel 3.

The ideas explored on Panels 2 and 3 analyse and clarify through the reference of religious iconography such as the arch form.  The interplay of figure and object through the use of depth of field sets up the two-dimensional image-making decisions on Panel 3.

Further exploration and variety of subject could have been explored with more depth on Panel 3 to achieve greater shifts between phases of working, which are required for Achievement with Merit.

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